Survey Findings on Views on Social Conflict in Hong Kong Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
A telephone survey was conducted from 13 to 18 July 2017 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to gauge public views on social conflict in Hong Kong. 721 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 37.7%. The sampling error is + or –3.65 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%.
Major findings are summarized as follows:
The Chief Executive Carrie Lam has just assumed her duties recently. The respondents were asked if they expected social conflict to become more serious, about the same or less serious in the next five years. 40.4% of them anticipated that it would be less serious while only 10.2% believed the opposite. 36.9% predicted that it would be more or less the same.
About half (49.1%) of the respondents regarded the current conflict between Hong Kong citizens and the government as serious whereas 13.6% said that it was not so. 33.0% reported “in-between”. The situation seemed to be improved considerably when comparing it with the results of a similar survey conducted in March 2016. The corresponding figures for March 2016 were 66.5%, 6.6%, and 24.2% respectively. The statistical test (Chi-square) also found that the differences between the two surveys were statistically significant. However, regarding the political wrangling in Hong Kong, two-thirds (66.7%) of the respondents still considered it as serious while only 6.4% viewed the opposite. 23.7% said “in-between”.
The respondents were also asked if they approved of the view that “when struggling with the government to fight for our demands, we should always stick to peaceful, rational and non-violent means.” More than seven-tenths (73.4%) of the respondents approved, 5.8% disapproved and 17.1% expressed “in-between”. When asked if they agreed that “nowadays in Hong Kong, taking radical actions such as physical clashes or traffic blockage is the only way of making the government respond to people’s demands,” about three-fifths (59.1%) of the respondents disagreed whereas only 15.0% agreed. Furthermore, if asked whether they personally agreed that “taking radical actions is the only way to make government respond to their own demands,” about two-thirds (66.0%) of the respondents disagreed. Only 6.3% agreed.
In fighting for public interests, 69.5% of the respondents preferred the approach of making concession by both sides to seek common ground. 20.7% of the respondents preferred to stick to their principles and not to compromise.
It is also worthwhile to note that while the survey was conducting between 13 to 18 July, Leung Kwok-hung, Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai and Yiu Chung-yim were disqualified from the Legislative Council by the Court of First Instance on 14 July. It may be possible that the survey results were somewhat affected by this incident.